Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari (AKA Imola circuit) is the infamous Italian racetrack near the town of Imola and a jaunt up the highway from the Ferrari factory in Maranello. It's an unforgiving and blindingly fast 17-turn circuit known as much for its flat-out speed as for its uncompromising nature. It's a special place with a rich history of photo-finish championships and tragic crashes. But what does this legendary racetrack have in common with an aired-out Jetta? It's simple, the Jetta is number 993 of 1200 Imola Yellow Fahrenheit GLIs ever produced.
It might be a stretch trying to imagine the VW lapping the track its color was named after, but it was what attracted Vinny Castrogivanni. "I really wanted an '07 Fahrenheit GLI because of its unique color. It's not something you see every day," he said.
"I found the car at a Volkswagen dealer with only 7000 miles on it. It was apparently a corporate car that had been driven around the different dealerships. It had the factory Votex body kit, which I didn't even appreciate until I delved deeper into the VW scene," Castrogivanni confessed.
We're talking about a rare car with a rare kit. How many Fahrenheit GLIs with factory-equipped Votex kits do you think exist? But the VW rookie would remain in the dark a few months longer before he officially became a Dubhead. "Prior to the Mk5 I owned an Oldsmobile, so it's safe to say the Jetta was my first real car. When I bought it, I wasn't into the aftermarket scene. In fact, I was just happy to have a cool car in a unique color," he continued.
Everything would change one day when stopped at a red light. "A guy in a modified Mk5 GTI pulled up next to me and after complimenting me on my Fahrenheit Edition, he told me to check out the local VW forums and from there it just snowballed," Castrogivanni explained.
And snowball it did... "I blew my entire bank account at my first Waterfest. I bought a downpipe, cold-air intake and a bunch of other stuff," Castrogivanni laughed. In fact, he had the ECU flashed as well but the tune couldn't be activated until the downpipe sitting in the trunk was installed.
Ah, what we wouldn't give to step back to our youth, our first VW and a little cash burning a hole in our pocket once again...
With the next paycheck came the installation of the APR 3" downpipe and activation of its stage 2 software, along with a custom 3" exhaust made from Magnaflow and Autotech components. Inlet restrictions were relieved with a BSH True Seal intake.
Other upgrades included a Forge diverter valve relocation kit and Eurojet PCV fix. A VAG-com session also traded USDM annoyances for Euro features like auto window up and down from the keyfob.
While on the topic of up and down, the Jetta drops thanks to one of the few Bagyard Bomber Classic air-ride kits to float across the pond. Viair compressors, controlled by an AccuAir E-Level management system, fill these rare bags. The five-gallon air tank sits in a custom trunk enclosure, looking discreet and classy.
Pulling and rolling the rear fenders so thin they'd cut sashimi wasn't enough to provide sufficient tire clearance, so the pads on the wheels were shaved, but more was needed. So Castrogivanni had a local legend fabricate custom adjustable rear control arms that allowed up to -7° of camber to tuck the wheels.
And speaking of the wheels, Castrogivanni went West Coast lowrider style with 18" Work Desmond Verse wheels. The modular design had powdercoated centers and was wrapped in Nitto rubber.
It sounds so simple, but we'd be lying if we said it was. "The car was ruined twice: Once when my 'pop-up' garage blew over on top of the car, and the second time when it was hit in the parking lot at work," Vinny said.
The hit-and-run incident brought forth significant exterior changes, like the Lamborghini/Ford yellow paint - I know, we made a big deal out of the factory Imola Yellow, but Castrogivanni always sets himself apart. "After the second mishap I decided to paint it a blend of Lamborghini and Ford yellows, fitting a shaved R32 front-end at the same time," he said.
A keen eye will also notice the shaved front bumper and extremities, along with the retrofitted Seat Cupra R front lip plus the late-Mk5 tail lights in a darker shade of red. Like we said, he's all about the details...
Which reminds us: did you notice the paisley-wrapped roof pillars and full stereo system? These are nice interior touches that also incorporate a hidden button for his train horn. And that hints at Vinny's sense of humor that includes the vanity plate that's worth a few laughs, no matter where he goes.
He's a perfectionist, a joker, an Art & Design student and he's created a very cool car.
2007 VW GLI Fahrenheit Edition #993/1200
Art & Design Student
Long Island, NY
2.0L four-cylinder FSI 16v with APR stage 2 software and 3" downpipe, custom 3" Magnaflow/Autotech exhaust, BSH True Seal cold-air intake, Forge Motorsport diverter valve relocation kit, Eurojet PCV fix, BFI dogbone mount
Stock calipers, Hawk HPS pads
Bagyard Bomber Classic front and rear air bags and front sway bar end-links, Accuair E-Level management, dual Viair 480c compressors, dual water traps, five-gallon skinny tank with 3/8" line and wireless remotes, 27mm Hotchkis front sway bar, 27mm APR rear sway bar, custom adjustable rear control arms
Wheels & Tires
18x8" ET24 f, 18x9" ET26 r Work Desmond Verse wheels with polished lips and white powdercoated centers, 215/35 R18 Nitto Neo-Gen tires
Shaved R32 front-end, shaved trunk, pulled and rolled fenders, VW Votex side skirts and rear valance, Seat Cupra R lip, R-Line black mirror caps, hidden GLI foglights, In.Pro headlights, Nokya yellow fog- and headlight bulbs, Ziza LED city and plate lights, tint, car painted custom Lamborghini and Ford yellow
Paisley cloth on pillars, New South Performance boost gauge in steering wheel pod, Euro light switch, Monster Mats, white LED interior lights, train horn
Rockford Fosgate PS3 12" subwoofer, Power Acoustik amplifier
My parents, friends at LiMKV, Alexa, Dave, Alex and Jon, Greg S "Swoops," AirSociety, Bag Riders, AccuAir, Clique, Flipzc, Dabberfam and Bdegalife